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Taxman After Landlords

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Times - John Denham wants to fast-track plans for database of landlords

People who rent rooms to lodgers could find their details being studied by tax inspectors under government proposals for a national register of landlords, The Times has learnt.

John Denham, the Communities Secretary, wants to fast-track proposals to set up a database of private landlords by introducing legislation this autumn. The aim is to crack down on rogue landlords who fail to repair property or who improperly retain their tenants’ deposits.

Laws will be introduced to require private landlords to register online, for a £40 fee, and agree to a set of standards before they can let property. The register, which will include the names and addresses of landlords, and all their properties, will allow councils to intervene where tenants complain, and ban landlords from letting property if they fail to address problems.

But the consultation exercise, which ends tomorrow, makes clear that Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will also be given access to the database, prompting fears it will try to raise tax from homeowners keen to raise a little cash.

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